I’m thrilled to be back on Seekerville in time for a Christmas countdown. And like the others so far, I’ve got a Christmas memory and a giveaway…
First, the memory.
A few weeks ago, here in Colorado, we got a dumping of snow. And while we had to dig out from almost 20 inches of the white stuff right before Thanksgiving, it wasn’t the biggest storm I’ve experienced. That one was dubbed the Blizzard of ’82. (Yes, 1982. And if you’re into math as well as reading, I was eleven at the time with two younger brothers.)
It was Christmas Eve and we began our annual trek from the foothills of Colorado four hours south into New Mexico to celebrate with my grandparents. I say began, because even though my parents roused us long before dawn due to the falling snow, it was after noon before we’d made it to the south side of Denver.
At which point the Interstate was closed and we were forced off the highway into the small town of Castle Rock. The highway patrol made it sound like the unhindered plows were going to sweep down the road and then traffic would be allowed access again.
But the snow kept falling and their plans changed and suddenly we were stranded away from home for the night while every available hotel room in town was already taken. I can’t imagine what my parents were feeling to be out of options, but I do remember Dad pulling into a gas station to fill up the tank thinking we’d be staying in our car overnight with the engine and heater running.
Merry Christmas, right?
But once inside to pay (we used to do that back in the day), he learned that a local church had opened their doors as a shelter for stranded travelers and our family headed there instead.
What happened next was the most meaningful Christmas I’ve ever celebrated. Away from home and extended family. Surrounded by strangers. Eating a haphazard potluck donated by local women and grocery stores. Attending a very traditional Christmas Eve service in jeans and snow boots (a far cry from my Pentecostal, dressed-to-the-nines childhood) while my mother played the piano and my brothers and I were asked to light the Advent candles (something I’d never heard of before). Sleeping with my mom on a couch in the ladies’ restroom while my brothers and dad slept on the floor in a nursery. Awakening on Christmas morning with no presents in sight…except the gift of more donated food and the laughter of new friends as a white-bearded fellow traveler in a long-sleeved red shirt handed out donated net stockings filled with candy and small toys to the smaller children.
It was the heart of Christmas amid two feet of snow. And even though later that day we were able to continue our journey to my grandparents’ house, I’ve never forgotten the reminder that the home of Christmas is rooted in the celebration of Christ’s birth not our traditions or decorations.
Now, the giveaway. Actually, there are two. First, since Audra loved it so much, I’m letting you all download the recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Tea Bread https://candeefick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Pumpkin-Pecan-Tea-Bread-Recipe-1.pdf that I gave to all my newsletter subscribers. There are those who think pumpkin is a Thanksgiving flavor, but I find the mixture of pumpkin and cinnamon equally festive for Christmas.
And for one lucky random commenter, I’ve got an ebook copy of my next book that’s releasing on the 15th. (It’s on a pre-order special of just $.99 so grabbing it now would be a good idea.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081BB5RNF Home For Christmas is the final book in the Wardrobe Series and continues the plotline of a secondary character from Sing a New Song, so you might want to pick that one up too. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QHYNTJC/
Grace Mitchell's dream of creating music derailed when she saw firsthand how fame could change a person. After choosing a more stable career, she's content to build her future in backwoods Missouri until the reminder of her broken heart walks in the door of her father's bait shop.
Tyler Sherwood left it all behind for a chance at the national spotlight, but a backstage revelation changed everything. Embarrassed to face his family after his failure, he retreats to a rustic cabin to regroup...and comes face to face with an intriguing young woman and an old guitar.
When sparks fly, will they leave her singing or singed? Can the message and the music reignite dormant dreams and bring him home for Christmas?
So, here’s the question for you. How would you celebrate if you were far from home at Christmas? And have you ever been stranded in a storm with strangers?
BIO: Candee Fick is a romance editor for a small Christian press and a multipublished, award-winning author. She is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy editing or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.
You can find out more about her and sign up for her newsletter on her website https://candeefick.com or head straight to Amazon to find all her books. https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/